In this concise yet powerful book, one of the twentieth century's most respected political philosophers presents a controversial reassessment of the political ideas and intellectual legacy of Edmund Burke. A practicing politician and powerful writer, full of ideas, Burke was intent on getting those ideas translated into government policies. But he was too much the impatient practitioner to set out his principles in a single book in the manner of Locke or Hume,
leaving both admirers and opponents ample scope to reinterpret his work in different ways. Macpherson, however, finds Burke's views on political economy to be the one consistent factor in his thinking. Today Burke is often viewed as one of modern conservatism's founding lights, and in an era of global
capitalism unfettered by national borders, Macpherson's reassessment of Burke's ideas is perhaps more timely than ever.
C.B. Macpherson (1911-1987) was professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Widely regarded as Canada's pre-eminent political theorist of the twentieth century, he was the author of numerous books, including The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke, and The Real World of Democracy, and was named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour.
INTRODUCTION TO THE WYNFORD EDITION BY FRANK CUNNINGHAM; BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE; ABBREVIATIONS; 1. THE BURKE PROBLEM; 2. THE IRISH ADVENTURER; 3. THE ENGLISH POLITICIAN; 4. THE ANGLO-EUROPEAN WASP; 5. THE BOURGEOIS POLITICAL ECONOMIST; 6. BURKE FOR THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY?; NOTE ON SOURCES; FURTHER READING; INDEX